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Birmingham tower design faces post WTC review

Birmingham City Council is reviewing designs for a tower in the city centre in the wake of the World Trade Center collapse, MPs were told this week.

The investigation may lead to design changes to the planned 232m tall Arena building the city centre.

'After 11 September, everybody has had to reconsider their safety policies for tall buildings, ' Birmingham's design policy manager Martin Brown told a Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLGR) urban affairs select committee this week.

'We have engaged a working party to gauge the conclusions made throughout the world to ensure that our policy is sustainable, ' he added.

At the same meeting, Bristol City Council head of city centre projects, Alastair Brook, called for the government to provide guidance on tall buildings.

'We need a framework to identify what is acceptable and what isn't, ' he said.

London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, said the capital needed an extra 55Mm 2of office space over the next 15 years. A quarter of this would come from up to 15 tall buildings, each with a floor area of around 850,000m 2. This was crucial for London to capitalise on approaching globalisation, he added.

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